For years now, commercial breaks during sporting events have been littered with ads for beer, cigarettes, drugs that cure erectile dysfunction, and other products that are considered “adult products”.
Why? Because typically, the folks that will purchase these products are watching said sporting events. Marketing 101.
That being said, these ads don’t coincide with some views when it pertains to Parenting 101. In fact, parents have become upset with the ads that are being selected to run during sporting events.
Ads for erectile dysfunction drugs, beer and not-for-children films abound on pro football and baseball telecasts, upsetting parents and politicians worried about harm to young viewers – though a new wave of complaints doesn’t seem to be swaying the leagues, networks or advertisers.
Earlier this year, a national media monitoring group urged the leagues to “clean up their act” after reporting that half the ad breaks during National Football League telecasts showed at least one ad featuring sex, drugs or alcohol. A congressman concerned about the issue even introduced bill that would limit ED ads to nighttime.
Without getting into a “how you should be parenting” lecture, I’ll just ask this question. When else do you expect these companies to market their products? These ads aren’t being run during the Saturday morning “Spiderman” cartoon. They’re being run while grown men are undoubtedly sitting on their couch drinking beer, smoking cigarettes, and thinking about how they’re gonna “get it up” later after a afternoon full of drinking and football.
It makes perfect sense to run these type of ads during this exact time. And it makes perfect sense that the leagues aren’t budging on this one bit.
The leagues, however, don’t seem inclined to disrupt the status quo.
“We follow the lead of our broadcasters as it relates to ads, yet we are always sensitive to the opinions of our fans,” said MLB spokesman Matt Bourne.
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy, in an e-mail after the league’s opening week, wrote that “we are comfortable with our policies and those of our network partners.”
Lost in all of this is the fact that this is America, Jack. We like our football to be in pads, baseball to be
in the summer, and our beer ads during our sports watching. Guess some people just have to start parenting.
Parents Object to Racy Ads during Games (AP via CBS News)